Without adequate protections in place, he said, he would have taken a leave of absence.
“We have some real reservations” amid the Delta surge, he said — both for himself, as a teacher, and for their child. “So much is in flux everyday.”
For children and their parents, vaccine mandates for students are very different from mask mandates.
A majority of parents of school-age children do not want schools to require students to get a Covid-19 vaccine in order to attend in-person classes, according to the Kaiser poll. And Florida and five other states have banned vaccination requirements for both students and public employees, like school personnel.
In Hollywood, Fla., which is part of the Broward County school district, Rod Velez, 51, said he supported the county’s mask mandate. But his ninth-grade son, who will attend South Broward High School, does not want to be vaccinated, and Mr. Velez is not forcing him to do so. “He’s going to be learning how to drive soon,” said Mr. Velez, who is a school board candidate. “So I’m trying to push him to start making his own decisions.”
Some families can be persuaded.
Jovan Reed, 35, and her two teenage sons, Raphael and Skylar, were vaccinated Thursday at Frederick Douglass Senior High School in New Orleans. Either the shot or regular virus testing is required for high school extracurricular activities, and both boys play football.
“I’m still skeptical,” Ms. Reed said of the vaccine. “But I’m doing it to be a supportive parent.”